January 24, 2013

Legend of Peach Boy - Ranking

Story & World

In one of the many things that LoPB would copy from Dragon Quest, the main plot is to kill the biggest bad in the lands.  Though for most of it, it felt more like Hunt for the Five Moon Treasures.  The game has quite the tendency to get silly at any time it pleases, and it pleases often.  I'm not sure if I should award or deduct points for being one of the goofiest games played thus far.  I don't know, maybe I'm just jealous.  The wackiness overkill certainly made sure I was never too invested in the story.  Other than the nutty tone of the game, it's standard DQ-inspired fare.  10/20

Character Development

Not too much to see here.  In addition to the basic offense and defense stat, agility has also been tacked on.  Level gains are static and there is no way in the game to augment these stats (short of equipment).  The equipment boasts an impressive eight slots, although for most of those slots, there are only a few pieces that will ever fit into them.  I did like how equipment had its own slot system independent of the general items (also limited to eight slots).  4/20

Combat & Monsters

Again following very closely to the DQ combat system but LoPB throws a few new features in.  The continuous attack is a nice addition to the regular critical strike and it's also nice to see the monsters taking advantage of it as well.  The animal companion attacks, while sparse, at least serve as a reminder that they are even there (they're not used much outside battles).  The handful of magic spells available are only noteworthy in that each one is bellowed out with much bravado; they are otherwise quite standard in their effects.

The random encounters which did not result in immediate combat are also a nice touch.  The quizzes given by the Luck Lord near the beginning were quite the surprise and I didn't even mind that I didn't know any of the answers.  There was also an encounter with some pink fairie creature who asked if I used flax shampoo.  An affirmative answer results in her giving 100 golds.  If negative, she disappears leaving a lovely scent behind.  Whatever, it's nice not to have to fight every time.  11/20

Graphics & Sound

Graphics are sub-par and and there is a distinct lack of colour variation in most sprites.  The monsters (excluding bosses) are all drawn to be as derpy as possible and I got a little tired of it by the end.  It's hard to visualize an intense battle when everyone looks like a bloody clown.  The music is decent and some pieces really stand out but not because they are particularly well done.  No, it's because certain tunes are taken directly from Dragon Quest itself!  Some sound effects are likewise lifted.  7/20

Gameplay

My coffers were overrun with gold by endgame but for the most part I was sufficiently motivated to continue beating down oni.  We won't mention those times that were totally my fault for losing thousands of pieces of gold.  The puzzles are fairly advanced for a JRPG — just look at the Jizo row one.  I also found out, after finishing the game, that the Jizo row words actually did make a sentence (of sorts) that leads to a completely different treasure!  And here I thought that they had just chosen those words to throw one off the track.  Clever bastards (or unclever Shen).  Encounter rates and overall pacing are both satisfactory (provided one is willing to flee most of the endgame random encounters).  14/20

Final Ranking:  46/100